Are You Rich?

By: Staci Stallings

Are you rich?

Stop. Think about that question for a moment, and answer it honestly. Let it wind down through your head, past your heart and into your soul. Put it into first person.

Am I rich? Ask, and wait for the answer. It’s important to get an answer because your whole life is currently being controlled by that answer. Everything you do is colored by it. Every single facet of your life is shaped by it in some way.

In this life there are four answers, and each answer shapes the reality of the person answering in ways they may not even be aware of.

The first group says, “Of course I’m rich. Look at all the money I have." And then they go home to empty houses filled with all the finest things in life but devoid of anything even nearly approximating love. These are the people who are lost but don’t know it, or who can’t face how barren their lives really are.

The second group says, “I’m not rich. Look around. I can hardly pay my bills each month. I have no savings, my car just broke down, and I have no idea how I’m ever going to send my kids to college." These people hold “poverty" up like a badge of honor when in reality, their focus on the bad keeps them in perpetual bad without any hope of getting to the good in life.

The third group says, “No, I’m not rich because even if I have a lot now, something terrible could happen tomorrow, and then where would I be?" These are the people who are just waiting for bad to happen. They can’t enjoy what they do have for fear of the future. So, no matter how much they have now, fear is their dominant emotional state, and it effectively negates any positive feelings making them perpetually feel “poor"—effectively keeping them in bad.

And then there is the fourth group.

The first time I read this question, my resounding answer all the way to the bottom of my spirit was, “Yes, of course I’m rich!" However, it wasn’t until a few minutes later that I really thought about the question in terms of money. I simply looked out to where my children were playing as I sat on the steps of my home waiting for my husband to come home, and I said, “Yes." How, in that context, could I answer anything but yes?

Life, however, is not nearly as logical as it sometimes seems. A few days later I asked the question of someone in exactly the same situation, and that person’s immediate and resounding response was, “No!" I was astounded. How could the two of us in as close to the same boat as two people can get respond so differently?

The more I reflected on that paradox, the more I learned about how and why I relate to my world the way I do.

When I was younger, a friend told me, “You know, you are so lucky. Everything always works out for you." At the time I said, “Yeah, and I work darn hard to make sure it does."

In light of this new question, however, I can see why things work out for me—because I believe that they will and I focus all my energy toward that end. Then, even when they don’t work out like I planned, I see that how they worked out was even better than what I had planned or at least exactly the way they were supposed to work out for my continued growth. A circumstance which causes me to feel even richer than before.

World-renown motivational speaker Anthony Robbins has an exercise where first you “hope" something will work out. He says that when you hope, you see two possibilities: the thing working out, and the thing not working out. Then he invites you to “expect" that something will work out. Expecting focuses all of your attention, all of your energy, on the goal being accomplished with no thought to it not working out. When you expect consistently, your goals, your dreams, and your plans have no choice but to come into being because your thoughts create your reality.

And so back to our original question. Are you rich?

When you look at your life do you expect things to work out? Do you focus all your energy on things working out? Or do you sit back and hope that somehow they will? If your answer to the last question is, “Yes," then I’d be willing to bet your answer to the first is, “No." It’s simple—if all you focus on is how “poor" you are, no matter how great things may be, you will find a way to feel “poor."

Sarah Ban Breathnach, best-selling author of Simple Abundance and Something More, suggests keeping a gratitude journal where every day you write down five things for which you are grateful. This is an excellent way to force your mind to focus on answering a resounding, “Yes!" to “Are you rich?" Take a moment, right now, and list ten things in your life for which you would not take a million dollars.

Having trouble thinking of something? Then start with your health—that’s an asset most of us take for granted. “But I have a bad back and migraine headaches and PMS," you say. Maybe, but I have an uncle who is stricken with MS, and he literally cannot reliably move any muscle in his entire body. Not only is he in a wheelchair, he must be strapped to that wheelchair so he won’t fall out. He cannot feed himself, dress himself, or go to the bathroom by himself. He cannot drive, hold a pencil, type, or even roll over in bed at night under his own power.

Now, how thankful are you for your health? More importantly, are you rich?

In the book Princess, by Jean Sasson, a Saudi Arabian princess who on the outside lives a life of luxury and opulence that most of us could only dream about, describes life for women that closely resembles absolute hell. Women locked in lightless rooms for years on end because they brought “dishonor" to the family. Women drowned by their fathers in their family’s swimming pool while their mothers and sisters look on helplessly. Young girls sold by their parents, stripped naked, and then bought at auctions by men who want to increase their harems.

And we complain about a bad hair day.

Think about the opportunities and the options you have stretched before you. Yes, you may be in a dead end job or in a dead end relationship, but you don’t have to stay there. You can get out. So ask yourself right now, what do you want to do with your life? What is your dream? If you could be anywhere in this life, where would you be? Picture that place in detail. What does it look like? Breathe. Close your eyes, and see it.

If you believe you are rich; if in your soul your answer is a solid, no-questions-asked, resounding “Yes!", then you can achieve that dream and any other dream you focus on. Nothing can stop you.

Now, I can hear some of you saying, “But I’m not rich. Look at all these bad things that have happened to me." Then I say, start a grateful journal today—this very minute. You don’t have a second to waste.

Motivational speaker, Marianne Williamson says, “There is nothing holy about poverty." God, the maker of all things, has given you the greatest gift of all—life, but what do most of us do? Sit around complaining about every little thing that has ever gone wrong and whining about how hard this life is.

Let this be your warning: Do not tell your brain you are poor, for when you do, no amount of riches—monetary or otherwise—will ever be enough to make you rich. Believe you are rich, feel you are rich, focus on how you are rich every single moment of every single day. For when you feel you are rich and believe you are rich, more riches will be granted to you.

So, now, let me ask you once moreFree Reprint Articles, are you rich? Be careful. The answer is shaping more than you think!

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